(Capricorn Records CP-0169) 1976
Produced by Johnny Sandlin
Recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
Engineered by Sam Whiteside and Carolyn Harris
Talk about a lost classic. When I ran across this LP on eBay, I jumped on it with both feet. I remember having this great old Capricorn LP the year after I got out of high school. I think I bought it at the time because there was a duet between Bonnie and Gregg Allman, and Dickey Betts played guitar on it, which are two mighty fine reasons for my procurement of the vinyl. But now, 24 years later, and with quite a bit of musical maturity under my belt and having gained a vast appreciation for studio musicians and that whole "Muscle Shoals Thang," as John Wyker would say, I am just ecstatic over having been reunited with this great piece of vinyl history.
I think what really excited me about Capricorn back in the seventies was the comradory. Everybody playing on each others albums. Well, there is certainly enough of that "thang" goin' on here. From the many duets between Ms. Bonnie and Mickey Thomas on the r&b chestnut, "Hold On, I'm Coming;" to her duet with Dobie Gray on the Gamble & Huff classic "Never Gonna Give You Up;" and with Gregg Allman on James Brown's "Two Steps from the Blues;" with Jimmy Hall on Jimmy Reed's "Ain't That Lovin' You Baby," which features Allman hero Dickey Betts on guitar and Chuck Leavell on piano; to teaming with both Jimmy Hall and Mickey Thomas on "You Really Got a Hold On Me;" and her romp with Bobby Whitlock through Hank Ballard's "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go."
Of course, the solos are just as amazing, with an awesome cover of J.B.'s "Think About It" and a smooth rendition of Sam Cooke's "You Send Me," featuring Randall Bramlett on sax. Paul Hornsby adds his unmistakable Hammond organ to a beautiful, soul drenched cover of Dylan's "Forever Young," and Ricky Hirsch puts his guitar artistry to work on "Let's Go Get Stoned." And then there is the main "band," Berry Becket, David Hood, Johnny Sandlin, Rodger Hawkins, Tommy Talton and The Muscle Shoals Horns. Impressed? I sure was.
With Bonnie getting ready to do some more recording with our friends at Blue Hat, there is no better time to go back and remember the excellent body of work she gave us as a member of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, and as a superstar of a solo artist. Oh Bonnie, you send me. Honest you do.
-Michael Buffalo Smith